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September 1, 2015

Six other politicians who have had their ways paved by TV actors

by Jay Black, posted Jul 2nd 2008 11:38AM
Hey, you want to get together tomorrow afternoon and pose dramatically?Dennis Haysbert recently claimed that his role as President Palmer on 24 may have helped pave the way for a viable African American presidential candidate. He went on to claim that his portrayal of Nelson Mandela in the movie Goodbye Bafana ended apartheid and that his role as Jonas Blane in The Unit cured polio. Haysbert was then wrestled to the ground by his handlers and is now "recuperating" at the Clay Aiken Home for Delusional Celebrities.

My first thought upon hearing this news was that Dennis Haysbert is obviously insane. Since I've been criticized in this space for not having an open mind about insane things, I decided to take Mr. Haysbert at his word. I then went even further and went to work putting together a list of other politicians who exist mainly due to the hard work done for them by TV actors. After researching Wikipedia for almost a full fifteen minutes, this is the list I've managed to put together...

Come and knock on Monica's door...1. Larry Dallas -- Bill Clinton. Prior to 1977, polite society required a man to be married and monogamous by at least his early thirties. America's love affair with affable next-door-neighbor Larry Dallas changed all that. Suddenly it became cool to spend the majority of one's time trying on medallions and trying to "make it" with stewardesses. Larry's effect on the American zeitgeist was felt long after Three's Company went off the air when a dashing Bill Clinton rode a wave of Larry Dallas love right into the White House.

I'm telling you! Dick Cheney is real!2. Mr. Snuffalufagus -- Dick Cheney. At one point, it was considered appropriate for Vice Presidents to emerge from their private doomsday bunkers in order to make public appearances. Thanks to Big Bird's "imaginary" best friend, America became used to the idea of George Bush Jr.'s "imaginary" best friend, too.

One day he'll love me back!

3. Felicity -- Condoleezza Rice. Remember in the pilot episode of Felicity, when the superbly coiffed Keri Russell ditched med school to follow her heart's one true crush to New York City? People laughed at the time: only on overly romantic TV shows would a woman give up so much just for a chance at love. Then Condoleezza left Chevron for Dubya's cabinet and the rest is history.

I'm here to bore you into loving the planet!4. Captain Planet -- Al Gore. When I was growing up "The Environment" was just a place where we stored used McDLT cartons. If a crazy-eyed hippie tried to talk to us about "saving mother earth", we beat him unconscious with an oil drum. Captain Planet came along and taught us that stiff, unentertaining animation could open our hearts and minds to the idea that the environment needs to be protected. Ten years later, Al Gore took stiff and unentertaining to new heights with his An Inconvenient Truth.

Yep, apparently people think this is gay.5. Barney -- Barney Frank. Once upon a time, it was unthinkable that an openly gay man could be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. One really big, really purple, really really gay dinosaur showed the world that leadership comes in all shapes, sizes and sexualities.

D'ya like my warrin' hat?6. Henry Blake -- George W. Bush. It used to be that during times of war, a commander was expected to be a steely-eyed stoic, focused on the objective at hand with a laser-like intensity. The popularity of Henry Blake showed that America was ready for a different kind of wartime leader -- being affable and goofy was even more important to Americans than being capable and intelligent. In 2004, as the country slid ever deeper into an increasingly thickening Iraqi quagmire, America remembered the lessons it had learned during M*A*S*H*'s run and decided to re-elect the most affably goofy president this country has ever seen... George W. Bush!

(By the way, experience has taught me that yes, I do need to say it: the preceding has been satire. Any truth presented in the above comparisons will, hopefully, come coated in at least a modicum of laughter. Further, any resemblance to partisan politics is completely coincidental. Three Republicans and three Democrats were chosen so that this does not become a forum to comment on how conservative or liberal the poster may or may not be.

All that being said, come on and join the fun -- what other politicians have had their ways paved for them by TV actors?)

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Charlie from Rowan

I think the Ice Queen in the first Chronicles of Narnia paved the way for Hilary Clinton.

Who could imagine someone so icy and heartless involved with politics?

July 08 2008 at 10:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


The Captain Planet/Al Gore & Henry Blake/George W. Bush analogies were both spot-on and hilarious! You've taken the time to do the research into this...you really put the "anal" in "analogy".

July 02 2008 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Nice try on being non-partisan, but the folks won't let you, Jay. They take the satire right out of it and make it all about their party. Woo. What fun. If nothing else, the comments on this one ought to be fun to read!!

July 02 2008 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great stuff as usual, Jay!

I like the Mr. Snuffalufagus analogy, but might I suggest Chuck (the ventriloquist on Soap) for Dick Cheney? Maybe it's too obvious, but they both work with dummies.

July 02 2008 at 1:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Jay Black, I think you're insane. What Dennis Haysbert said isn't all that far fetched. It must be a slow news day for you to make such an issue of this.

July 02 2008 at 12:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think The Penguin in Batman Returns paved the way for Dick Cheney. I mean without Danny DeVito's potrail of a bald, angry, fat guy that shoots his own henchmen running for mayor I doubt the American people would of allowed an angry, bald, fat man that shoots his own henchmen in the face as Vice President.

July 02 2008 at 12:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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